In less than a week, this blog will be coming to you live from the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo. This will be the third time the PokerStars Blog has been to Monaco. And it looks like we’re going to have our work cut out for us.
I’ve been chatting with some of the people behind the scenes. The in-the-know folks say there’s a chance we’ll see more than 600 players at this year’s grand final and that first prize could very well be in excess of $2 million.
Registration is still open for the event and PokerStars is running one big Last Chance online qualifier. That event is going to go off at 1:30 ET Friday afternoon. That event is looking to be a big one and if I weren’t supposed to be writing about the Grand Final, I’d like to take a shot at it myself.
Below you’ll find a few pictures from around Monte Carlo Bay that I took when I got on the ground last year. I suspect not much has changed. Also, after the pictures, a news release somebody slipped me this morning. It should fill you in on the rest of the details.
Monte Carlo, from a distance
The cliffs of Monte Carlo
Refreshments waiting tableside for the players
Indicators of the sea breeze
Security in a palm’s shade
Your humble blogger, a year younger. Chat him up when you get to Monte Carlo and get yourself on the blog.
The European Poker Tour Grand Final kicks off next week in Monte Carlo (March 28-April 2) and is set to smash all records for a European poker tournament — with nearly double last year’s numbers and a total prize pool of at least 5.5 million euro.
With still a week to go before the event starts, more than 550 players have registered to play, making the EPT Season 3 Grand Final – sponsored by PokerStars.com – the richest poker tournament ever held outside of the USA.
The six-day Texas Hold’em No Limit Grand Final event is the climax to a phenomenally successful series of EPT tournaments. There have been seven tournaments since last September, including Germany and Poland for the first time. Many of the events have been sell-outs with player numbers vastly higher than last year — close to 3,000 entrants and a total prize pool of over 13 million euro.
The tournament begins Wednesday, March 28 2007, in the Salles des Etoiles room of the Monte Carlo Sporting complex at the exclusive Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort. Thanks to the high numbers wishing to play, the Grand Final has been extended by an extra day with the final table now taking place on Monday, April 2.
At last year’s Grand Final, 19-year-old American student Jeff Williams, from Atlanta, Georgia became a dollar millionaire, walking away with 900,000 euro for his first place cash prize. This year the winner is likely to take home nearly 1.8 million euro.
More than 250 poker players have won their seats to this year’s Grand Final by qualifying online with PokerStars.com. They will be playing against some of poker’s top professionals, including World Champions Joe Hachem (2005), Greg Raymer (2004), and Chris Moneymaker (2003), as well as other Team PokerStars members Isabelle Mercier, Luca Pagano, Bill Chen, Noah Boeken, Katja Thater, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Humberto Brenes, Lee Nelson and Vanessa Rousso. All this year’s EPT winners automatically qualify for a seat – and the chance to be crowned the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Champion.
John Duthie, executive producer of the PokerStars.com EPT and holder of the Poker Million title, said: “The EPT has firmly established itself as the most prestigious poker tour in Europe. Many of Europe’s top players have always seen the potential for major events here and thanks to their support and enthusiasm — and the involvement of PokerStars.com — we’ve been able to make that happen. The tour now attracts top players from all over the world and this year’s Grand Final looks set to be the biggest poker event ever to take place in Europe.”
The EPT is televised by BAFTA award winning production company Sunset+Vine. Season Three is currently being shown on satellite channel EuroSport on Fridays and starting from May 4, 2007 on Challenge TV at 23:00 weekdays. For more information visit the EPT TV shows page.
Following the highly successful inaugural broadcast at the EPT German Open, PokerStars is offering live coverage of the last three days of the Grand Final. Visit EPTlive.com to watch the Grand Final action live from Monte Carlo. The service is free and coverage begins Saturday March 31st at approximately 1400 local time (0900 ET).